NHL Rumor Mill – March 8, 2022

by | Mar 8, 2022 | Rumors | 41 comments

The Devils could shop P.K. Subban at the trade deadline, updates on Shea Weber, Tomas Hertl and Jake DeBrusk plus the latest on the Islanders, Capitals and Jets in today’s NHL rumor mill.


THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports New Jersey Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald said he’s informed P.K. Subban the club doesn’t intend to sign him to a contract extension. The 32-year-old defenseman is slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. Fitzgerald also told Subban he could move him before the March 21 trade deadline if he receives an offer that makes sense for the Devils.

New Jersey Devils defenseman P.K. Subban (NHL Images)

Fitzgerald also stressed the value of Damon Severson to the Devils. He said he hasn’t spoken to anyone about the 27-year-old defenseman, who has a year remaining on his contract. However, he stressed it would take “a really good package” that helps the Devils now and in the future to pry away Severson. He also didn’t rule out making a splash in this summer’s free-agent market.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Adam Proteau suggests Fitzgerald could retain some of the remainder of Subban’s $9 million salary-cap hit to facilitate a trade but that would require a team offering up top assets such as prospects or draft picks.

Subban isn’t the all-star defenseman he once was. Proteau suggested the Dallas Stars or Los Angeles Kings as offseason destinations for the veteran rearguard, though the decline in his performance in recent years will affect his value.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Subban has barely come up at all in trade chatter this season. That could change as we get closer to the trade deadline and if injuries strike the blueline of a playoff contender.

Subban’s actual salary for this season is $8 million, of which $6 million was paid by the Devils at the start of the season as a signing bonus. Nevertheless, the Devils will have to retain a big chunk of his remaining cap hit to improve his trade value.


THE ATHLETIC: Marc Antoine Godin believes the Arizona Coyotes would be a good trade partner for the Montreal Canadiens to shed the contract of Shea Weber. The 36-year-old defenseman’s career could be finished due to injuries, leaving him on long-term injury reserve.

The Coyotes have only 10 players under contract next season at a total cap hit of $37.17 million. They’ll need to add over $23 million to their payroll but could prefer remaining a budget team next season. Godin believes the Canadiens would have to add a valuable asset to convince the Coyotes to go for it.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens have 12 picks in this year’s draft, with two in the first round, three in the second, two in the fourth and two in the seventh round. They’ll likely add more should they ship out some players as expected by the trade deadline. The Habs could package a couple of decent picks with Weber to tempt the Coyotes.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sheng Peng cites reports indicating the Sharks are trying hard to sign Tomas Hertl to a contract extension. The 28-year-old pending UFA center hasn’t been placed on the trade block yet, but that could change if there’s no progress toward a deal as deadline day draws near.

THE ATHLETIC: Lisa Dillman recently examined the pros and cons of the Los Angeles Kings potentially trading for Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk. While she believes DeBrusk to the Kings would make sense on some levels, they’re not facing any genuine urgency to make a splash at this year’s trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kings are currently in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race. They could make an addition by the deadline but GM Rob Blake could stick with his current roster for the rest of the season. He might prefer retaining assets for this summer’s trade market when better long-term options could be available.


NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks recently reported pending New York Islanders UFAs such as Cal Clutterbuck, Zach Parise, Andy Greene and Zdeno Chara could be gone by the trade deadline. However, the Isles still have seven players 30-or-older under contract beyond this season.

Semyon Varlamov is signed through next season, Josh Bailey and Matt Martin each have two seasons left while Brock Nelson and Kyle Palmieri have three years left, Anders Lee has four years to go and Casey Cizikas has five years.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Isles GM Lou Lamoriello does make some cost-cutting moves by the trade deadline they’ll likely involve those aging UFAs. Some of the others could be peddled in the offseason if he feels the club needs to add more youth into the lineup.

THE ATHLETIC: Tarik El-Bashir reports Washington Capitals GM Brian MacLellan remains interested in adding a rental goaltender provided he’s a significant upgrade over the current tandem of Vitek Vanecek and Ilya Samsonov. The top option is the Chicago Blackhawks’ Marc-Andre Fleury but other clubs are also interested in him plus he has a 10-team no-trade list.

MacLellan could also pursue an affordable upgrade for his middle-six forwards such as Seattle’s Calle Jarnkrok or Marcus Johansson. He hasn’t ruled out making an aggressive pitch for someone like Philadelphia’s Claude Giroux or San Jose’s Tomas Hertl, but that won’t be easy given their limited cap space. MacLellan has no intention of parting with a top prospect like Connor McMichael or Hendrix Lapierre and prefers to retain his high draft picks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: MacLellan won’t have much luck landing Fleury, Giroux or Hertl if he won’t part with a top prospect or a first as part of the return.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Jeff Hamilton reports the Jets could become sellers if they keep losing ground in the Western Conference playoff race. Most of the Jets trade rumors of late are about pending UFAs such as Andrew Copp and Paul Stastny.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: NHL Watcher cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman discussing Copp during his 32 Thoughts podcast on Monday. He believes the Jets forward will be coveted if he hits the trade block, suggesting the Colorado Avalanche as a possible destination.


  1. I forgot all about Subban
    No idea what his skill level is today ?
    Why is he not being mentioned ?
    Coming to Toronto might regenerate his motor , not sure
    Certainly an interesting character
    Subban is a R shot
    Trade for another stay at home , mean defender , pair them up

    • It would be a great story, coming to the Leafs and playing like he was 25 again. Not likely. Leafs need a defender. I might pick Chara over Subban. Reunited with Spezza. Another feel good story?

    • He’s not been mentioned much because he is way past his prime and nothing but a cheap shot artist. Any GM that would give anything up for this guy should lose his job.

  2. Re “ Adam Proteau suggests Fitzgerald could retain some of the remainder of Subban’s”

    “Some” MUST be 50% AND another team retains 50% of that again…. Final team gets him at annual Cap hit of $2.25 M…. That’s IF he is traded

    @ TDL; after escrow accounted for…. PK owed ~ $400 K

    Meaning middle team “eating” annual Cap hit of $2.25 M but only paying (“buying a pick” ) about 100K

    Last couple weeks f years midle team in 3 way trades , paid in the $200 K – $250 K and got a 4th

    For that reason…. If traded (longshot)…. Final team gets PK for $2.25 M annualized Cap hit…

    3rd (or equiv prospect) to NJ; 5th to middle team

    Who are the takers in that deal?

    • I suggested Trono send Holl or Dermott for Suban (1/2 retained) and a 5th to Detroit to retain the other 1/2
      I was chastised by a NJ fan as not wanting your “garbage”. LOL. Garbage is better than what they will get if they let him walk.

      • I think Fitz and the Devils have nothing but the utmost respect for Subban. They are not “pushing” him on anyone, rather if someone wants to trade for him the Devs are open. However they will not be upset if he plays out his contract and leaves at the end for nothing. PK is a great individual and the Devs want to respect that for all he has done for that team and the community.

    • Aww Pengy, forget all the mathematical calculations – none of it changes the fact Subban is yesterday’s news. He’s past it.

      Why does everyone think that just by joining Toronto players will recapture their long-past mojo? I still recall the pathetic picture of Gilmore crawling off the ice in his second go-round with the Leafs when he, too, was past it. Remember Jeff Finger, David Clarkson, Kristich, Owen Nolan, Jason Allison? That’s Subban.

      • Subban is worth the gamble for the Leafs, here is why IMO:
        Keefe has suggested, openly, that the biggest issue for Muzzin this year has been decision making with the puck and getting that first pass through. Its why Holl and Muzzin as a pair has struggled.
        Holl seems to be better without Muzzin but someone else with Muzzin/Holl requires breaking up the one really steady defense pairing in Reilly/Brodie.
        I think Subban pairs really well with Muzzin, or its at least worth a shot. I realize he is well past his prime but its the sort of defenseman they need WITH Muzzin.

        I’m not advocating that the Leafs make this deal but this isn’t a suicidal deal, depending on cost of course.

      • Taz, that was essentially the thinking with the acquisitions of all of the names above.

        There comes a time when every player – regardless of how good he was in his prime – hits that brick wall. Subban may be great in the community, the dressing room and in front of the media … but he is NOT the Subban of years past.

      • Hi George

        I never said he’d join Leafs (or Pens)…. Was just throwing out there that he’s have to come in at 25% (50% retained by NJ and 50% of that again by mid team) and the end cost would be a 3rd snd a 5th … or equivalents IF (big if) he was traded by/at TDL

        I can tell you that PK is waaaay better than Pens 3RD

        Burke won’t shell out futures for UFAs unless they are huge difference makers

        PK is NOT a huge difference maker… just a fair depth add

      • No, but johnny z and taz thinks it might be a good idea and that’s who my comment re Leafs was directed to

  3. Hi Lyle

    Re “ The Habs could package a couple of decent picks with Weber to tempt the Coyotes.”

    To me it would be Yotes packaging picks to acquire Weber; not Habs giving up to send him

    Yotes gain in meeting the Cap floor (more likely) cheaper OR gain LTIR flex

    While on Habs and on LTIR… Habs have the LTIR flex and get reimbursed from ins. Co. for his pay… net zero cash wise

    Or are Habs worried Gary nixes the LTIR status???

    • I wonder why Weber is available. Could Price be going into LTIR retirement? Are they sure that they can rid themselves of all those hefty contracts by next season?

      • Spot on Pengy and good question Johnny Z. As I said the other day, RDS had the take that Weber’s contract could be traded if the acquiring team to a hefty contract off Mtl’s hands as well. Makes no sense to trade the contract plus draft picks. We must also remember (beyond insurance) Molson has done very well financially in the pandemic. His core business has been pandemic proof. He is a business man so wants bang for his bucks, but is a hockey man/fan. He gets that just shedding a contract for purely finacial reasons that handicaps the Habs cap-wise (meaning a garbage team) is not a viable long-term strategy in Quebec market.

    • This is a question I asked yesterday, Pengy. Currently the Habs benefit from Weber being on LTIR. Why add picks to trade him to rid themselves of a contract that doesn’t affect their cap.

      It’s giving up something to run in a circle. What am I missing?

      As per your speculation on Bettman, if Weber’s LTIR status is in jeopardy (doubt it), then other teams would know this and stay away.

    • What is the dollar figure for actual money that is owed to Weber? I m asking because in the second part of the Leafs trade earlier this year, the Leafs picked up a minor league goalie that they then returned errr “loaned” back to them which means the Leafs are paying for that goalie to play for the Yotes farm team so that the Yotes can save some dollars there…i just don’t see them dishing out cash for a non+playing player when you consider it’s easier to get to the cap floor by trading for bad cap anchor contracts and get a few more assets from it.

      The Wild sound more likely the landing spot for that contract and I’m sure both teams will make out very well from the trade.

    • Chicago got Tyler Johnson and a second round pick for Seabrook’s contract. I think if Vegas are getting stone back before the playoffs, the weber contract would benefit them the most.

      • Weber’s contract to Vegas + Chariot (1/2 salary) + Jake Allen (when healthy, soon I believe) for:
        Nick Hague, Brossoit, 2025 1st, 2022 Chicago 5th, and one of their center prospects (but not the #1 center prospect.

  4. Big Z at his low Cap hit as a depth add for a contender with D depth questions; for a mid rounder…. to me is worth considering

    Who might be interested?

  5. With Draft picks being a premium and NCAA players getting ready to sign.

    I seen a pie chart the other day with the make up of the NHL. Unfortunately i don’t have a link to the article but here is the break down

    round 1 40.6%
    round 2 16.6%
    round 3 8.4%
    round 4 6.8%
    round 5 6.5%
    round 6 5.6%
    round 7 2.6%
    Undrafted 12.7%

    Undrafted makes up the 3rd highest %

    • Caper, I guess that’s why GM’s don’t like to give up 1st RD picks. Wonder how many of the 40% were taken in the top 15?

      Never would have guessed 12.7% were undrafted. Maybe it’s due to more NCAA guys finishing their 4 years and becoming a UFA?

      • Those guys would have been drafted ray.

      • Ya, brain fart chrisms.

      • More to do with more mature playing against older competition.

    • It’s a good argument to raise draft age one more year.

    • Caper, don’t those figures make you wonder why the NHL has seven rounds in the draft? They could cut to three or four easily.

      • Bingo. And if undrafted players all could become ufas by 21-22 years old they would have a much greater chance of success.

      • Don’t they become UFA’s if they don’t sign for X period of time anyway?

        I actually don’t know how long they have to wait up here if they come out of junior.

        Agree the draft should be 19 yrs old anyway very few 18 yr old kids play in the NHL, odds of success likely go up.

      • Sorry ray. Yes they eventually do. But I was referring to the big increase in undrafted players cutting the draft down would create. With the low percentages of success I think that those players would benefit from picking the teams best suited for them. A previous say 5th or 6th round ld might get buried in a system loaded with ld prospects. If they could pick a team short on said prospects they have a better chance of succcess.

      • Chrisms, interesting idea but wouldn’t there still be competitive concerns?

        IE – more guys want to play in TBay or FLA organizations for taxes or whatever. Not like another team can simply open up shop in FLA.

        If they get drafted and want to roll the dice as a UFA they still can when they are 21, but a downside to that as well that keeps most of them staying where they get picked.

      • If we are talking about your bottom half draftees then almost overwhelmingly we are looking at you bottom six bottom pair guys. Tax’s arnt nearly as important as finding a team you might get ice time with.

      • Agreed chrisms, just playing devils advocate from owners perspective, but their would be some who think that way.
        IMO if you are good enough you will play as coaches get rewarded for wins, and if you are a young guy on a good contract, even more so. If you are blocked by position depth on a good team, you become a trade candidate to a rebuilding team where opportunities are more abundant.

        If I was the PA what I would be asking for is earlier arbitration first.

  6. Anyone watch the Avs broadcast of the game last night? Did you catch where they announced M9ntreal had traded Petry to the Leafs? Full 3-4 minute commentary on it and what it meant for the Leafs chances come playoff time.

    I mentioned it to my son (18 yrs old) and he laughed and said it was a scam. Someone made a fake account somewhere and posted the deal.
    Avs announcers fell for it hook line and sinker….. apparently so did I.

    • Probably a Russian hacker 🙂

      • I don’t always circle back to this website after I’ve read the morning posts, but when I do, it’s for content like this.

    • Petry at 34 with 3 more years at 6.25million. Please don’t let that deal happen.

  7. If Weber retires…..oh boy Nashville.

    I mean. It’s not likely. But it could happen.

    • He wouldn’t leave the millions on the table that he gets paid being on ltir

      He would lose 6 million in real $$

  8. Re: Muzzin

    I think it’s in the team’s best interest and the player’s best interest to stay on LTIR until the playoffs.

    He’s already had a tough year. Compounded by two concussions in a short period of time my guess is he’ll be a very hesitant player upon his return. If Toronto doesn’t use his LTIR cap relief to replace him with another legit top 4 defenceman they’re going to be in big trouble come playoff time.

    Keep Muzzin on LTIR and use his cap relief to go after another top 4 D-man. They have the assets to facilitate the trade. Go after somebody with at least another year on his contract

    • His first nothing looking hit kept him off the ice for a month…this time was a few weeks after that injury and his head hit the ice in a much more violent impact.
      If he does return it will be close to or during the first round. I wouldn’t mind if he’ll return sooner so he can do a conditioning stint before the playoffs start.

    • Daryl
      I couldn’t AGREE more !!